10 Questions with ... Jeff Anderson
November 15, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Started out at college radio at WFSU '94 ...
- 94-'99 / Mix show, nights, Production Assistant - WZFX
- '99-'03 / Production Director/on-air - WQMG/WJMH/WEAL-A,
- '03-'07 / PD - WZFX/WUKS,
- September 2007-present / OM - WCDX/WKJS-WKJM/WPZZ/WTPS
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
Alphabetize the CDs in the MD's closet! Early influences before I got into radio were Angie Martinez, Wendy Williams and Rick Dees.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
The love for music led me to radio. The moment that said to me, "This is it," was when my mentor, D Cherie Lofton, showed me that production was one of the most important aspects of a great sounding station. It was a perfect combination since I was always into production and editing.
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
4) Where do you see yourself and the industry five years from now? How do you feel about Arbitron's PPM replacing the diary?
Five years from now, I see myself looking into potential small properties to own. As far as the PPM, I think that we still have some major tweaking to do.
5) When you were in Fayetteville, you developed an excellent reputation for hearing big hits early. This is a talent that many claim, but few really have. Are you going to be able to continue that tradition now in Richmond? How you feel about being asked to wait on a record you hear until the research validates it?
I feel that I still have the opportunity to continue to hear and act on the big future hits. Obviously, with limited room to rotate everything, it's based on space and opportunity. I rarely hear that I should wait on a record due to research, since I feel that if you have a gut feeling about it, you roll with it. You can pretty much tell almost immediately if the record is not the one ... or not the one right now.
6) What is going to happen to the training of tomorrow's talent and programmers if the current trend continues? How do you feel about syndication and voicetracking?
It's a combination of things. First, we need to identify the talent that still has the drive and commitment to achieving at a high level. Second, we have to take the time that people gave us to teach and mold new talent. With or without syndication, there are so many people out there who are looking to get a handout instead of paying dues. If this continues, they will make it easy for companies to make the decision to syndicate due to lack of talent. I feel that with the right talent and resources, a great local jock will beat a syndicated jock.
7) Have you had to make any adjustments with your programming strategies lately?
When you move into either a new company or a new market, you have to learn the systems in place and adjust to the new way of handling daily duties. I had to adjust my range of thinking across multi-formats and keep budgets in mind more.
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I'd like to improve on my biology and chemistry skills to find a way to clone myself.
9) How do you feel the current economic situation -- with stations downsizing and cutting back on promotion and contest budgets -- is going to affect programming? Are air personalities going to be less creative and adventuresome because of the fear of being fired?
Going forward, air personalities are going to have to be more conscious about doing stunts that could prove to be risky. I definitely feel that all companies and stations' future budget restrictions will have an impact on promotions and the way we do contesting. In spite of the economic limits, I still feel there are still so many creative things that we can do that do not cross the line or cause us to go over budget.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
No regrets, I feel that God has put me in every situation and presented me with the right opportunities that have been best for me and my family.
What's been your biggest disappointment in Urban radio today?
Biggest disappointment of Urban radio is that there are not enough leaders and trendsetters.
How do you feel about "freezing" your playlist or having a "no add week"?
I dislike having a "no add week," particularly on our Urban Mainstream station because I feel that it changes every week. There's always a new trend or song.
How important is callout research in determining adds or playlist movement?
Callout is essential in moving music on our playlist. We depend on the research to give us a fair barometer of how our songs reach our target.
What do you do with a song you don't like?
I don't judge anything off what I don't like. I let the audience decide overall, but usually when I don't like something, it does not end up as a hit.
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
The best advice that I have received was to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Every conversation, every aircheck session, every e-mail!